A National Council on Aging website, benefitscheckup.org, has links to many federal, state, and local programs that help retirees save money on medicines, utilities, health care services, and more. Visit the site to see if you are eligible for them.


In Chicago Friday, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said that if hiring and inflation indicators continue to meet the central bank’s expectations, an interest rate hike “would likely be appropriate” at its March policy meeting. She also noted that, barring unforeseen events, the pace of tightening in the near term “likely will not be as slow as it was during the past couple of years.” After these statements, the Fed futures market put the chance of a March rate increase at 82%.1


At a mark of 114.8, the Conference Board consumer confidence index reached its highest point in 14½ years in February. Just 20.3% of Americans found jobs “hard to get,” the smallest percentage in eight years. A Department of Commerce report, however, showed only average consumer spending in January: personal spending rose just 0.2% in that month, and it actually slipped 0.3% when adjusted for inflation. Personal incomes grew by 0.4% in the first month of the year.2,3


The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing purchasing manager index rose 1.7 points to 57.7 last month. That was its best reading since August 2014. ISM’s services gauge also improved; it moved north 1.1 points in February to 57.6.3,4


December’s S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city house price index showed a 5.8% yearly gain in home appreciation. In the November edition, the advance was 5.6%.4


The Dow Industrials closed above 21,000 for the first time last week, adding 0.88% across five days to settle at 21,005.71 Friday. The S&P 500 rose 0.67% for the week to 2,383,12; the Nasdaq Composite, 0.44% to 5,870.75.5


Monday brings earnings from Analogic, Casey’s General Stores, and Thor Industries. Tuesday, investors consider quarterly results from Alamo Group, Dick’s Sporting Goods, H&R Block, Navistar, and Urban Outfitters. Wednesday sees the release of ADP’s February payrolls report and earnings from Bob Evans Farms, Hovnanian, Stein Mart, and Valspar. The latest initial unemployment claims figures appear Thursday, plus earnings from El Pollo Loco, Real Goods Solar, Smith Micro, and Verifone. Friday offers the February jobs report from the Department of Labor and Q4 results from Kirkland’s.

Sources: wsj.com, bigcharts.com, treasury.gov – 3/3/175,6,7,8

Indices are unmanaged, do not incur fees or expenses, and cannot be invested into directly. These returns do not include dividends. 10-year TIPS real yield = projected return at maturity given expected inflation.


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Securities offered through JW Cole Financial, Inc. (JWC), Member FINRA/SIPC Advisory Services offered through J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc. (JWCA). Brower Financial Group and JWC/JWCA are unaffiliated entities. Registered Representatives of J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. whose identities and associations with Brower Financial Group are disclosed on this site, may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 actively traded blue-chip stocks. The NASDAQ Composite Index is an unmanaged, market-weighted index of all over-the-counter common stocks traded on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System. The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE:NYX) operates two securities exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and NYSE Arca (formerly known as the Archipelago Exchange, or ArcaEx®, and the Pacific Exchange). NYSE Group is a leading provider of securities listing, trading and market data products and services. The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX) is the world’s largest physical commodity futures exchange and the preeminent trading forum for energy and precious metals, with trading conducted through two divisions – the NYMEX Division, home to the energy, platinum, and palladium markets, and the COMEX Division, on which all other metals trade. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability and differences in accounting standards. This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested. All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results. Market indices discussed are unmanaged. Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.


1 – usatoday.com/story/money/2017/03/03/yellen-signals-likely-rate-hike-march-meeting/98657322/ [3/3/17]

2 – marketwatch.com/story/consumer-confidence-hits-15-year-high-2017-02-24 [2/28/17]

3 – cnbc.com/2017/03/01/us-personal-income-jan-2017.html [3/1/17]

4 – marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic [3/3/17]

5 – markets.wsj.com/us [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F3%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F3%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F3%2F16&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F2%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F2%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F2%2F12&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=DJIA&closeDate=3%2F2%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=COMP&closeDate=3%2F2%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

6 – bigcharts.marketwatch.com/historical/default.asp?symb=SPX&closeDate=3%2F2%2F07&x=0&y=0 [3/3/17]

7 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyield [3/3/17]

8 – treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=realyieldAll [3/3/17]

Topics: Weekly Economic Update